December Newsletter: Maintain Health This Holiday Season With Ayurvedic Yoga

Greeting & Namaste!

The end-of-year Holiday season has begun! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! The winter holidays can be a joyous and celebratory time for many, yet for many of us still the end-of-year celebrations can bring about stressful feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and depression. In addition, holiday overindulgence can leave us feeling slow, sluggish, unmotivated and heavy in body and mind. What can we do to stay true to our personal health and well being while enjoying the holiday gatherings and get-togethers?

If we consider what's going on in nature, we can make more sense of why many of us experience all of these challenging emotions this time of the year.

In nature, Vata season is in high swing, with Kapha season to follow later in winter. Considering the "gunas," or qualities, of Vata and Kapha and how they are expressed in nature, the weather is definitely erratic with a propensity for becoming colder and colder, and either: a) windy and dry or: b) stagnant and wet; wild flora has either completed its life cycle or has gone dormant till next Spring; animals are spending more time resting; nights are becoming longer and longer as we approach the Winter Solstice.

Now, let's consider how the gunas of Vata and Kapha express themselves through "vikriti," or imbalance, in the human mind-body. Excessive Vata creates dryness in the body's organ systems; chills the body's "agnis," which are the metabolic fires of the body, thus slowing down or stagnating our digestion and other metabolic processes; develops instability in the mind which can lead to anxiety, absent-mindedness, and overwhelm; upends our sense of foundation, stability and groundedness which can lead to insomnia, fear and insecurity. Excessive Kapha creates congestion, excessive phlegm/ mucous, and fluid retention in the body due to stagnation; promotes heaviness, dullness and lethargy in the mental and physical bodies resulting in weight gain, foggy memory, lack of motivation and depression; continues to chill the body's agnis, thus stagnating digestion, elimination & metabolic processes even further.

Our individual, unique prakriti will partly determine how much we will be affected by Vata-Kapha seasonal conditions, but most people--even the purist of pitta prakriti--will probably find themselves staving off some intensity of seasonal vata and/or kapha vikriti. To help balance our bodies this winter, make sure to stay warm as much as possible--body, mind and soul! Here are seven Ayurvedic tips to help beat the winter blues:

>>1)Eat hot, nourishing, mild to medium spiced meals, and make sure to eat 3 meals daily at

around the same times to maintain strength of the digestive and metabolic fires

>>2)Drink warm beverages like hot water with lemon/ lime and a little fresh ginger or herbal teas gently sweetened with honey to keep warm and satiated between meals.

>>3)Practice dynamic, invigorating yoga asana or cardiovascular exercises--for people of kapha prakriti, now is a great time to try a hot yoga class!Click here for a 15 minute sun salutation warm-up video with me :-)

>>4)Practice heating/ solar pranayamas and kriyas such as Surya Bhedana, Ujjayi, Nauli or Kapalabhati to keep congestion, coughs and colds to a minimum.

>>5)Dress warmly inside the house if feeling chilled, sleep with a heating pad (be safe!) and wear layers under your jacket if you need to adjust your level of warmth.

>>6)Practice abhyanga oil self-massage and nasya nasal oiling regularly as an offering of self-love, to maintain warmth and comfort of the body, and to keep the skin nourished and supple. Abhyanga and nasya are both types of "Snehana" or oleation therapies in Ayurveda. The Sanskrit root word "Sneha" means either "oil" or "love" in English, so when we practice abhyanga and other oil therapies, we are not only nourishing our body, but we are nourish our need to feel loved. Try verbally or mentally saying to yourself "I love you" or other words of positive, loving affirmation when practicing abhyanga self-massage. Give yourself the gift of loving self-touch to provide nourishing warmth your body, mind and soul <3

>>7)Spend time with the people you love whether it be friends or family to warm the heart and soul! Another great way to nourish your soul is to do volunteer work this holiday season at a homeless shelter or any other community service of your choice. Helping out those in need connects us to our compassion and loving kindness--the essense of our heart chakra. I enjoy volunteering at Room In The Inn in downtown Nashville.


Join me for a very special FREE workshop coming up on Friday Dec 7th 6-8pm at the Small World Yoga Studio on 17th Ave S in Nashville. Experience Ayurvedic Yoga! CLICK HERE TO PRE-REGISTER AND SAVE YOUR SPOT!

>Learn about the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta & Kapha), how they express themselves in the mind-body, and where they mainly exist in the body.

>Take a Dosha Quiz to discover your predominant Doshic constitution, called "prakriti."

>Discover how to cultivate an overall sense of physical & mental well being through Yoga postures that help to balance your unique prakriti.